Energy-conscious and Sustainable Public Spaces
Energy-conscious and Sustainable Public Spaces _ Julian Lindley
Sustainability and Architecture have been discussed for many years. However, due to the nature of time to conceive, implement and use it is only now that we can critically evaluate architects’ response to environmental questions through actual buildings. This article links two key, if differing, aspects of sustainability, energy management and public/private spaces. Hindsight is always useful and we are slowly, as a collective, understanding not the importance of sustainability, we acknowledged that many years ago, but what good practice actually is. These examples from across the globe are fine examples but also generate more questions about what we are trying to achieve. Each takes a differing approach to materials, energy and water taking responsibility beyond just the structure to material sourcing, site clearances, construction, use and afterlife, these are now all part of the sustainable equation. This, as demonstrated by the examples, creates a broader ‘whole life’ understanding of our responsibilities. Noteworthy is the understanding of the local environment either urban or rural in energy plans. What works for one site will not for another. It is essential that we take stock of approaches and ideas, reflecting on what has been achieved in these examples and what else we can do. What makes a good space is far more open to interpretation and the examples form a polemic for discussion. The value is possibly not in the buildings but the ambitions which the architects want from their work. Many put human qualities such as health and learning at the forefront of specifications resulting in structures and spaces on a human scale inviting slowness from a human quality into function. One lesson to be learnt is that good results, sustainable buildings and spaces, come from the initial understanding of the needs of all stakeholders and the time spent understanding these. Mix with this that unclassifiable quality called creativity and you have the examples presented in this article. It is essential for architects, planners and designers to see the work of others and form their own debates, questions and aspirations from this article, and we thank and applaud the architects who contributed, in a small way additions to these discussions.
EXPO 2015 : The Green Laboratory
EXPO 2015: The Green Laboratory _ Marco Atzori
In spite of the controversies not only over Expo validity but also the current Expo Milano 2015 pending issues, the main theme and the common thread of this Expo, “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”, is appealing.
With serious and thorough reflection on strategies to ensure healthy food that is safe and enough for the world, Expo Milano 2015 opened a laboratory of innovation and research, a time for international discussion and debate to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for the world, while respecting the Planet and its equilibrium.
The exhibition area is more than one million square meters and is spread over two orthogonal axes, reflecting the signature urban-planning style of the ancient Romans, called Cardo (on an axis of about 400 meters) and Decumanus (about 1.5 km long). The site is completely surrounded by a canal and large canopies placed on the routes, helping visitors shelter from the rain and the sun. The Italy Pavilion is located along the Cardo, while the most of the other 140 pavilions are lined along the Decumanus. Constructed to be energy-efficient and sustainable, the
buildings were designed to be easily removed and reused after the event concludes.
The Clusters located scattered around the Italy Pavilion particularly look attractive. Each cluster is shared by multiple countries with common food background (for example rice, coffee and spices, or arid zones and islands).